Bill Fails to Fully Address Police Militarization, Quick-Knock Raids, Military Equipment Transfers to Local Police Departments and More that Disproportionately Target Communities of Color
Washington, D.C. – In response to House leadership fast-tracking the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 without addressing concerns from the advocacy community, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), released the following statement:
“We oppose passing the Justice in Policing Act in its current form. It is unconscionable for the House to fast-track a half-baked police reform bill without so much as considering the calls for improvements coming from advocates and community members demanding justice all across America. We were very clear last Congress that the Justice in Policing Act falls short and that significant changes needed to be made to truly enact meaningful reform.
Notably, this bill fails to fully address issues like police militarization and quick-knock raids, policing practices that are disproportionately used against people of color in drug investigations. While the bill places restrictions on programs that facilitate the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, it does not outright put an end to such programs. And while this bill prohibits no-knock warrants for drug cases, it does not outlaw quick-knock raids which can be just as deadly. Moreover, the bill continues to fund police departments and the war on drugs, rather than shift resources to education, housing, harm reduction services, and other infrastructure that strengthens communities and increases public safety.
While we understand the urgency to pass police reform, we call on Congress to do it in a way that gives it the attention, consideration and seriousness it merits. We urge them to work alongside advocates and community members to craft a comprehensive police reform bill that will hold law enforcement accountable, protect our communities and ensure dignity and respect for Black, Latinx and Native American lives.”